Thursday, February 26, 2009

Conception thoughts

I have a confession to make: I STILL haven't done anything about ordering the man-in-a-can frozen spermy goodness. So it's highly unlikely to make an appearance in March. I am now aiming for April. It's mostly to do with finances - my paycheck has dropped dramatically, mostly due to The Craziness at work. I have been promised that I will be paid some extra to make up for the fact that I couldn't do real work (which I get paid for) as opposed to lets-stop-the-whole-place-falling-apart work (that I don't normally get paid for). So I expect that at some point soon I'll get a check for that, and a tax rebate and then I'll be happy money-wise again.

But, it hasn't stopped me musing. Of course. Musing is what I do best. 

First of course I muse about the absolutely minimal possibility that this will work. Although I don't think it's a vanishingly small chance - after all, it's now been 9 months since I took IVF drugs (apart from that one month - when was it? August? - where I used some progesterone because my cycle was so screwed up). My cycle is as regular as clockwork again, and holy EWCM batman! I am losing weight (yay, the scale started moving again), I am exercising, I am back at acupuncture, I am eating a good diet, so I feel like I am in good shape health-wise. Plenty of women conceive at age 40. This week, in a brazen show of optimism, I even started back on a multivitamin. Not a prenatal, you understand. Just a regular multi, but I wanted to make sure I was getting enough folate and iron and all that good stuff. Anyway, all that is optimistic stuff. I feel like the drugs are all out of my system and I think that that's good for me. But of course we all know that it's a SLIM chance at best that I can get knocked up. I know this. And there's no need for you to remind me, Anonymous. I'm not expecting it to work by any means. I'm mostly doing it because I can, and because I don't want to regret not trying.

Then I muse about how OK I am with it NOT working. Conceiving used to be a NEED. Especially conceiving my own genetically related child. Now it is not. It would be nice, but I don't need it to happen. I will be fine if it doesn't. It's actually quite a shocking thing to have such thoughts.  I know that I can become a mother through adoption (or egg donation or whatever) and that is a comforting thought - it takes away the pressure about this little diversion. I am still intending at some point to adopt through the foster care system whether that's for a first child or a second child, I just have that back-burnered because of the difficulty of getting to the parenting classes right now. And in a way, it would be tremendously difficult and - dare I say it - inconvenient to have a child now. I am so busy. I couldn't manage to work as many hours as I do, AND go to school AND live as far away from the school as I do. If I somehow got knocked up I'd probably have to sell my house (in this market?), move in with my aunt and just work odd hours remotely. It's possible, but it'd be a major hassle. So sometimes I marvel at why I am even contemplating this.

But then, when it all comes down to it, I fundamentally believe deep down that it is still possible for me to conceive. That I might have one good egg in me somewhere and it's only a matter of finding it. So why not try to find it? Why not indeed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm so tired of being fat

Sigh. You know how I wrote that I was nearly at the weight goal I set myself before signing up for match you-know-what? Yeah. I'm still at the same weight. I've been doing everything right, stepped up my exercise and am just bouncing around the same weight, give or take a pound. I know it's not a real plateau as it's only been 3 weeks (ish), but really. This is where I get very frustrated, and usually quit my weight loss efforts. I am NOT going to quit this time, because this time I am not starving myself so I am eating in a way that is sustainable for a long time. BUT I am very tired of being overweight. Very tired. I just wish it would go.

And I wish my tongue would de-puff, for goodness sake. We're starting to pay more attention to our tongues at acu school - we have a whole class on tongue diagnosis that we haven't got to yet so I don't know specifics, but I have got into the habit of looking at my tongue every day. I'm just trying to recognize the color because purple means one thing, red another, etc - apparently there is no "pink" in Chinese tongue diagnosis. And of course, ALL tongues look pink to me, so I'm trying to differentiate what the different hues are. Anyway, a puffy tongue, especially with teeth marks on the side, is fairly bad in that it means (I think) dampness, and the teeth marks mean spleen qi deficiency. Both of which are very often involved when you are overweight. So I'm stuck with this puffy tongue that seems too big to fit in the space alloted to it. And it is freakin' annoying me that I am eating well and it is not deflating much. It's gone down a little bit since my very first foray into acupuncture all those years ago, but not enough.

If there's one thing I will say to my IVF-sisters who are just starting out - don't believe anyone when they say that conceiving is the most important thing. Don't let people think you aren't serious about getting pregnant if you are also concerned about gaining weight. If you can handle not diving into a tub of ice cream to drown your sorrows, try to resist! I mean, if you HAVE to have a tub or three of ice cream, be my guest. Whatever it takes, right? Your sanity is more important than your waistline. But if you can keep your sanity and your waistline at the same time - stay strong, ladies, stay strong.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lordy, time is flying

Life is going by in a blur. I am running at full speed all the time, and wow. I am not sure where the days go.

School is getting very interesting. The teachers are loosening up with us as they get to know us. The class is loosening up with each other - in fact we got told off today for being noisy. I was secretly glad we got told off, as I don't like loud chatter, but hey. I am at least glad that MOST of the class are really nice and friendly. And then the studying is also getting interesting, with lots of hints this week about energy medicine. And by energy I mean "Qi" - what is qi you ask? Well, I don't have a good translation - life force, or energy is the best. As one of the profs says, if your liver is in your body working away it is full of qi. If you cut it out and put it on the table, it is a piece of meat. It is dead because it has no qi. OK, OK, you might get all "it's dead meat because there's no blood circulation" with me but the theory goes that qi and blood zoom around together.

OK, so on to energy. We are doing qigong and taiji exercises to get our energy flowing. Professor after professor tells us that we should be doing qigong every day if we want to be good acupuncturists. One of the profs on Tuesday was talking about the energy of her patients, and how she can tell a lot when someone walks in the room. Some of it makes sense, as we've all had the "cut the tension with a knife" moments, or been able to tell that someone is angry just because of the vibes they are giving off. But these people go way further. And that makes me feel sometimes like I'm sitting in an x-ray machine!

Then another prof. did a healing on a student (not from our class) on Wednesday and invited one of my class in to watch. It was me! I am not sure why he asked me, but he didn't use needles, he used his fingers. And not acupressure either. I got the impression that he was sending qi down his fingers into the student. Did he ask me to show me the energy work, or did he just pick on me because I was the smart arse answering questions that day? Was I supposed to see this energy work and start paying more attention to this stuff? I tried to send out a healing vibe while I was in the room, but I doubt if I was much of a help.

And then today, we had this patient come in to class, and she had been in last week as well. I just feel so badly like I want her to be healed, because she is in constant pain. She had tears in her eyes today telling us about stuff. And as I listened and empathized I felt like I had all this energy going through me and my hands were getting hot, like we're told should happen in qigong. Ooh, I thought, maybe I am full of qi, maybe I've opened a couple of energy meridians or something! So I tried to send the healing energy her way. When we were watching her getting her acu treatment, one of the students from a higher class was there, making up some class time with us, and I noticed she was sitting weirdly and pointing her palm at the patient - aha! Sending qi! So I tried to do similarly. But this student got a treatment too, and she was all "I react SO strongly to the treatment" and saying how she feels the qi flowing. And someone asked a question about energy flow so she said to the teacher "ahh, she's one of us." One of us? One of us? One of us what? Aren't we ALL supposed to learn about this stuff, or is she saying that only certain people are gifted with heightened awareness of energy? It put me slightly on edge. Although intrigued.

It's like one thing after another is suddenly saying "pay attention to this qi stuff."

But sadly as we were walking out the arrogant jackass dude was all "that patient today was a hypochondriac. She could describe pain so minutely, in so much detail. Who does that? She's imagining it.Or maybe she has a mental problem." And I felt so annoyed with him. The poor woman has been in constant pain for 2 years and has been to doctor after doctor. She has probably had to describe the pain six ways from Sunday. Multiple times a day. No wonder she is precise when she says things, and not just "my legs kinda hurt."

And I certainly felt the angry energy well up as he was speaking! Grrrr. Again, I'm just going to try to be polite and say that I hope his thinking evolves. But really, what's the effing point of doing this if you think fat people are all fat because they don't exercise, and people in chronic pain are making it up? Really? Where's the effing empathy?

Monday, February 16, 2009


Work is still bad, but I think this week will be better. Cutie acu gave me some herbs for the stress, so they seem to be helping.

I went down to see the family this weekend, so that was nice. I had a good time, although tiring, because I had so little time to see everyone that I felt like I had to cram in as much as possible. My second cousin was down from Toronto, and I'm formulating a plan to go visit her in the summer (she doesn't know this yet, but I'm sure I'll be welcome). I haven't been to Toronto for over a decade so it'll be nice to see it again.

Saw this billboard in Miami, near Little Havana: It was an H&R Block ad, with a picture of two ultra-dorky white guys, & said "Tambien hablamos ingles." It totally cracked me up. Miami really IS a different country.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I'm really buckling under the strain at work at the moment. It is awful. I have grumped at a few people today, threatened to quit to my boss, and snapped that a couple of people should just be fired already. Sigh. Not a good day.

I know it's only temporary as we're going through some (major) transitions, but I just am not handling it well right now. Thank god there are no tests at school this week so I can coast and do the minimum amount of studying to keep up.

So much for being super healthy, eh. Having stress levels that are through the roof are surely no good for any body.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

More tips

It seems that the professors I have on Tuesday and Saturday are the ones that are more apt to give advice. So the entire class is busy pumping them for information at every opportunity! Everyone else says that we'll have a whole semester on food therapy so we will learn everything then.

OK, so on the "no water with meals" thing. It's really ANY cold liquid that is bad. It is heavy and cold and mixes with the food and interferes with digestion. So ice cold sodas are out too. A SMALL amount of room temperature liquid is OK, but he said that you are better off having a cup of hot soup as an appetizer if you need to have liquids. Water should be drunk between meals. At room temperature. Or in tea. And don't drink lots of water right before you go to bed, or you'll have a puffy face.

More on dairy: dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt) should be strictly limited, and if you HAVE to have it, eat it in the morning. Only have organic dairy. The prof said that too much non-organic dairy is what is contributing to the big rise in prostate enlargement. OK, so that's not such a huge concern for most of us but it's an example of the bad things it does. It's OK for children to have more organic dairy but not adults.

Don't have raw/cold food in the evening. He said food in the evening should be cooked. Sorry, I can't remember why. It was something to do with not having too much cold stuff. He said if you really want to eat salads, have them at lunch.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Health tips from the professors

So, I'm trying to remember some of the health advice that the various professors have told us, in order to pass it on.

1. Put two glasses of water by your bed, and drink them before you get up. I have been trying to do this, but I use one 12 oz glass rather than two 8 oz glasses. Although sometimes I get up and pee (and get on the scale) first. It's supposed to be better for hydration to take the water on an empty stomach before you do anything.

2. Do not eat ice cream. Especially not if you have a tendency to be cold and/or overweight. Sorry, gals. This is a big one in Chinese medicine. The worst things you can eat are: ice cold things, dairy, and sugar. So ice cream is a perfect storm and is therefore verboten. Though I guess maybe if you're skinny and running a fever...?

3. Which brings me on ice cold drinks. If you drink water, it should be room temperature.

4. Don't drink water with meals, or within 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. I am being very sporadic with this one!

5. Green tea and ginseng don't work well together, as they cancel each other out - says one professor. Another professor drinks green tea with ginseng all day long, and says he doesn't worry about it. So I'm lost on this one.

6. Do Qi Gong. Or Tai Ji. Or anything else that encourages deep belly breathing like yoga, meditation, certain types of prayer.

7. Eat blueberries. OK, this one wasn't from a Chinese professor, but a US professor who is also a naturopathic physician.

Umm, that's all I can think of for now.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Not so skilled with comment moderation, akshully

I managed to delete some comments I didn't mean to delete. Sorry! Trying to figure out how to work it between the Blackberry and a few duplicate comments led to a couple of accidental deletions. So if you're wondering where your pithy bon mot went, ummm, sorry, it went to comment heaven. But I'm sure it's happy running around with the other dead comments. And there's rainbows there, and everything.

I turned comment moderation on due to the return of Anonymous. And yes, Anonymous, I do know it was you. Suggesting in a second comment that it might be someone else who was concerned about my mental health isn't going to fly when you use the same wording that you always use. And here's the other thing - nobody else IS concerned about my mental health, or if they are, they just look away and politely let me get on with the train wreck. Because, what's it to them? Nothing. They have better things to do with their lives.

Right. But it's staying on. I'm going to figure it out sooner or later.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The other OTHER plan

Just to confirm - the adoption plan is still on, by the way. I just don't have time to go to the parenting classes right now, because they are offering them at inconvenient times, so it's a little back burner-ed. But it's still very much ON. I just am simmering a few pots at once, that's all.

The OTHER plan

Oh yes, there's another plan. The real man plan. I decided early in January (after realizing that perhaps acu school doesn't have the largest selection of guys, nor easy socializing) that I would rejoin that dating site that has a name like a small piece of wood you strike on a box to make fire with. Arr. Subtlety has always been my strong point.

Anyhoo. I set myself not a date target by which I would sign up, but a weight target. In that once I got down to a certain weight, I'd get me some nice new photos and set myself up a profile. I decided to make myself lose a few pounds first because I don't want to make any excuses about being insecure about the size of my butt and not do this! 2009 is the no excuse year. Well, I stepped on the scale this morning, and while I'm not quite there yet, it's within 2 pounds and more importantly, I'm in the lower "decade" at last. So, as I already have a trip planned for next weekend to see the family (gramps is over from Blighty, and second cousin is down from Canada), I have decided to take my camera and make people take lots of pics of me. While I take lots of pics of them too. Hopefully I will get a good one or two that will be somewhat flattering.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Doing better

I am now able to walk normally, or, at least, appear to to anyone else. It still twinges when I do that, but at least it doesn't hurt. My hip is doing much better. Sadly, I was limping at work yesterday and had to tell the tale of injuring myself while sleeping to several people. It was a tad embarrassing, especially when my friend P. said "Dude, you have got to get in shape. You gave yourself a bedsore!" Haha, thanks very much. I did not and do not have a bedsore. But, yes, perhaps I need to step it up on the exercise front.

Anyway, I want to announce that I am resurrecting the man-in-a-can plan. Maybe. Probably. Who knows. I've got to get motoring on getting the paperwork done, and then maybe I'll be ready to squirty up the clacker in March/April. Heh. Squirty up the clacker. I think that's an Elowyn original phrase that always stuck in my mind. And for God's sake, please, no comments about how pointless it is. I know, all right? But if I want to waste a few months trying in a stress free way with my last potentially viable eggs, then it's my own damn look out.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Walking wounded

I managed to injure myself in my sleep on Friday night. Yup. I'm not even safe in my own bed.

See, Friday night it was coooolllld. But I had my window open because I didn't realize how cold it would get. And I was exhausted from all the stressful shit going on with the craziness at work. So my alarm went off on Saturday morning and I was curled up in a fetal position on my left hand side bundled under the covers. And I don't think I had moved at all. All night. Because my left hip was completely numb. I jumped in the shower and gradually got the circulation going again, but as I was puttering around making breakfast, I found that walking was pretty damn excruciatingly painful actually. My ride came to pick me up (yay carpooling) and I hobbled out to the car. Sitting was OK, but as I got out of the car, everything had completely seized up and I could barely put one foot in front of the other. And so the day went on. I'd hobble painfully around, loosen it up a bit, then have to sit at a desk for an hour and a half and it would seize up again. And my hip started getting really cold too. I kept rubbing it, but it wasn't really helping. I started to fear that I'd killed part of my hip because of cutting off circulation all night.

Of course, the yoga teacher/personal trainer classmate guy scoffed at my thought that I'd hurt myself while sleeping, exclaiming that you can't injure yourself while sleeping and that I must have injured it the day before and not noticed. And then kept going on about how I should do some exercise. Oh, and he didn't mean that I should do some stretches to loosen my hip up right now, I'm sure he meant that I should do some exercise not to be such a fat fuck. I almost punched him but pointed out that I walk 6 days a week and do yoga once a week. OK, so it's not running marathons and I probably should do more but it's enough for basic health, I think. Gah. I am going to be polite here and say that I hope his thinking evolves during our course. But that's the second time he's seemed incredulous that anybody who's overweight already does exercise. And, while I'm ranting, I wish he'd stop asking every single one of our teachers if they recommend exercise to their patients. A) it's annoying, and B) he's not going to be very successful if the first thing out of his mouth is "you need to run 3 miles a day to lose weight" when someone comes in to his office with a bit of shoulder pain.

After school finished for the day, I asked if we could stop and get a heat pad before heading back home, so I could start warming my hip up as quickly as possible. And then I called my personal physical therapist (my aunt) for some advice. Lordy, I howled with pain doing the gentle stretching and movement exercises she recommended! I went to bed at a new record low....7.45pm, wrapped up with three heat pads, and with the bed piled high with sofa pillows so I couldn't roll onto my left.

This morning it is a lot better, but still painful and not right. I am still limping. I don't think I can manage yoga even though that might be the best thing for it, but I really don't think I could keep up with the class. I'll try to just keep gently moving it every now and then.

Sigh. And no, I didn't ask one of my teachers to stick a few needles in it as most of my classmates were suggesting. I dunno, that just doesn't seem right to me to expect free healthcare from the teachers and to interrupt their breaks to make them do some work. But I might make a quick acu appointment for Monday if my acu has an opening on his schedule if it doesn't clear up.